FEBRUARY 17, 2010

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OSU Center for Health Sciences Seeks Participants for Native Explorers Summer Program

Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences has received a grant from the Whitten-Newman Foundation to fund a new program to recruit, train, and educate Native American college students in the disciplines of anatomy and vertebrate paleontology as well as an introduction to Osteopathic Medicine.

The Native Explorers program, June 20 through July 3, is primarily a scientific expedition offering participants an opportunity to learn about ice-age vertebrate fossils, such as saber-toothed cats and mammoths, and vertebrates that lived during the Cretaceous (Age of Dinosaurs).

The summer program begins with three days of lab activities, exploring anatomy, comparing diseased and normal organs, preparing fossil specimens, reading topographical maps, and learning how to use a compass and GPS units. These activities are in preparation for a 10-day field excursion at various sites in the Manti-La Sal National Forest, in Utah, where students will work side-by-side with OSU-CHS faculty in prospecting and collecting fossils. U.S. Forest Service staff and administrators will introduce students to protocols for fire, range, and wildlife management, and preservation and protection of historic sites.

“OSU is honored to offer this program, thanks to the generosity of the Whitten-Newman Foundation,” says Kent Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of anatomy. “We believe this unique opportunity to integrate anatomy, paleontology, and medicine with lab and field activities will serve as a stepping stone to recruit more Native American students to study science as well as provide insight into related career opportunities.”

The Native Explorers program is designed to promote and increase the numbers of Native Americans in science and medicine. OSU-CHS will select six students, undergraduate and graduate-level, to participate. Students can earn three hours of college credit. All expenses are paid for those students selected.

More information and an application is available at http://www.healthsciences.okstate.edu/college/native_explorers/index.cfm or by contacting:
Kent Smith, Ph.D., associate professor of anatomy, OSU Center for Health Sciences, 918-561-8246, kent.smith@okstate.edu.